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City Prepares for Deep Frost & Risk of Frozen Pipes

For immediate release: February 9, 2018 - 11:51am
TU18-155

City crews and engineers are getting ready for a greater risk of more frozen water lines and connections.

“Extremely cold temperatures, or fluctuations between warm and cold temperatures, can sometimes push frost to a depth that will freeze water and sewer services,” says Russ Munro, Director of Water & Waste Stream. “The conditions we’ve had and continue to have are similar to March 2014, when there was an increase in water main breaks and frozen residential water and sewer pipes.”

Up until more recently, Saskatoon’s total winter snowfall was well below average and Munro explains snow acts like insulation for the ground.

“So when it’s really cold for an extended period like we’ve seen, frost can quickly move deep into the ground without that blanket of snow.”

In light of this, the City is prepared with a number of contingency plans to help reduce the impact to residents if there is an increase in water and sewer pipes that require maintenance and repair.

“We are prepared but there are also a number of ways that residents can prevent frozen pipes inside and leading up to their homes,” says Munro. “The key is to keep indoor and outdoor pipes insulated and out of the elements, which can include wrapping them or sealing entry points to keep the cold air out.”

Residents can reduce their risk of frozen water and sewer pipes by learning what to do at saskatoon.ca/frozenpipes.

As a precaution, residents in areas where water main breaks have occurred in the past few years, including neighbourhoods adjacent to current water main breaks, are encouraged to be prepared by having extra drinking water stored. It is recommended to have a 72-hour supply of water on hand for drinking and cooking equal to 3.8 litres (one gallon) per person or pet per day. Learn more about emergency preparedness at saskatoon.ca.